Berwick to leave
. . .and his work just started []
Implmenting the Affordable Care Act -- FAQs
affordable care act FAQs.jpg The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updated the Frequently Asked Questions. []
Fraud deprives people with disabilities
. . . while pockets of others bulge []
Health Industry Could Feel Pinch, Then Pain From Default
Kaiser Health News.jpg Unprecedented default would sorely affect people who depend on Medicaid or Medicare as a result of a disability or while in recovery from a mental illness. This article from Kaiser Health News explains some of the implications for states, hospitals, nursing homes, and individuals who depend on the reliability of government payments to avert disaster. []
Budget passions, decisions delayed
The stalemate continues and a sample of tweets and clips show the frustration of voters. []
Study Details How GOP Budget Plan Would Cut States' Medicaid Funding
Kaiser Health News.jpg The Ryan proposals Republicans endorsed for block grants that will change the current funding of Medicaid are estimated to cost states an average of one-third of their federal funding and seriously undermine the continuation of a safety-net for poor, uninsured and disabled people, according to an analysis of Kaiser Health News. []
Reactions to Ryan's proposal
. . .fast and furious []
CBO: Seniors Would Pay Much More For Medicare Under Ryan Plan
Republican plans to cut Medicare, and "scrap the health care law's Medicaid expansion," and cost more. An article on Kaiser Health News has analysis of the CBO report, with links and videos. []
Medicaid fraud for psychological services of deceased
The Department of Justice has charged a Georgia doctor with questionable Medicaid and Medicare billing for more than $2 million for psychological services. . . []
Berwick nomination in doubt
. . .unfortunate for health reform []
Medicare Part D shortchanges enrollees
. . .who pays? []
States Pushing Managed Long-Term Care For Elderly And Disabled Medicaid Patients
Some states have turned to managed care companies to provide home-based to reign in Medicaid costs. For some this might be advantageous. What will it mean for people in recovery from a mental illness for whom community-based services offers choices and opportunities for reintegration? Read the story from Kaiser Health News, and tell readers of MIWatch if this seems like a strategy that would be appropriate for people receiving Medicaid or Medicare for their psychiatric disability. []
Donald Berwick is important to behavioral healthcare
Peterbrown.jpg WIth 30.6 percent of the nation covered by Medicaid and Medicare programs, Donald Berwick is key to the success of the Affordable Health Act. That alone makes him central to reforms that will affect people with a behavioral health disorder whose life expectancy is a quarter-century less than the rest of the population. Peter Brown writes about how Berwick's achievements model new ways of thinking, that could be applied to improving behavioral health. []
KHN Column: Social Security's Disabled Adult Child Program: A Key Program Often Below The Radar
In this Kaiser Health News essay about Medicare and Medicaid benefits for older, disabled adults, Harold Pollack explains how Social Security has become an effective insurance policy that was patched together by Republican and Democratic leadership over the past 75 years. Yet, despite its centrality as a social support for disabled adults, it still falls short of providing security, and individuals are forced to rely on other help, especially family, to plug the holes. []
Applauding the Berwick appointment
. . .it's about time []
Threats to Medicaid in Senate vote
June 16 Update The Senate Finance Committee released details of modifications of a bill (HR 4213) the Senate failed to pass yesterday extending federal benefits to help states pay for Medicaid, to continue Medicare physician reimbursements through 2011, and to extend COBRA for people unemployed during the recession. The details of the changes can be downloaded here: Summary of Modifications and Additions []
Threats to Medicaid in Senate vote
June 16 Update The Senate Finance Committee released details of modifications of a bill (HR 4213) the Senate failed to pass yesterday extending federal benefits to help states pay for Medicaid, to continue Medicare physician reimbursements through 2011, and to extend COBRA for people unemployed during the recession. The details of the changes can be downloaded here: Summary of Modifications and Additions []
Passing health reform energizes advocates
Historic, jubilant, transformative were among the adjectives enunciated in the on-going celebrations of Sunday's historic pass of health reform in America. Recalling his mother who battled insurance companies on her deathbed, Pres. Barack Obama said passing this law represents the "core principles that everybody should have security." . . []
Ending Medicare hospital cap
Continuing their efforts to end discrimination in Medicare coverage for mental health, Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-MAINE) introduced a bill (S 3028) to end the 190-day lifetime cap on psychiatric hospitalization. . . []
Medicaid accounts for 42 percent of state mental health revenues.
Read more about Medicaid and Medicare from National Health Policy Forum.... []
Lilly settles
Eli Lilly and the Department of Justice reached a series of settlements resulting from illegal marketing, defrauding the government, and making false claims related to Zyprexa. The company will pay more than $1.4 billion (including a criminal fine of $515 million) for a scheme that broadly affected patient health, government spending and the credibility of federal regulatory agencies. A five-year corporate integrity agreement specifying reporting, written standards, and tracking of information, was part of the settlement. ... []
Psychiatric hospitalizations increasing
After nearly five decades of a steady drop in the numbers of people admitted to state psychiatric hospitals, a reversal might be underway say the authors of a study appearing in Psychiatric Services. Between 2002 and 2005, and based on patterns in 11 states, admissions increased 21 percent and the number of residents increased by 1 percent. The authors question the implications of this reversal for community-based mental health care. Medicare parity An article appearing in Journal of the American... []
Antidepressants fall through "doughnut hole"
An analysis of the impact of the "doughnut hole" for seniors with Medicare Part D with chronic illnesses found that "45% of patients on antidepressants reached the coverage gap in 2007." The study is available from the Kaiser Family Foundation.... []
Parity for Medicare mental health
By an overwhelming majority in both houses, Congress reversed a bias built into the 1965 law for seniors when it overturned a presidential veto of a Medicare bill. It will take six years for the rates to drop from the current 50 percent to the same 20 percent older Americans pay for physical health, but the reversal is a symbolic and a real achievement and was the focus of intense lobbying by advocacy and consumer organizations. In addition to establishing... []
The year of insurance parity
Negotiations over a law for mental health insurance parity appear to be ending, according to a mid-day report from CQ Politics. This ends a 15-year drive to end discrimination, and caps the careers of two of its congressional sponsors. A sticking point was allegedly resolved when Reps. Patrick Kennedy and Jim Ramstad (who is retiring from Congress), dropped requirements making diagnosis for psychiatric and substance abuse disorders depend on the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The Senate's bill,... []

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